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Tamo #8: Juniper

A place to discuss tenkara nets. Techniques for making it, woods used, designs, etc.

Re: Tamo #8: Juniper

Postby Daniel @ Tenkara USA » Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:21 pm

That looks really good! It'll be a nice looking tamo, very good find!
Curious why you didn't scrape/sand most of it before splicing? I usually have a big chunk of the work done before splicing, especially because splicing is a lot of work, and sanding/carving can reveal certain things (I guess).
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Re: Tamo #8: Juniper

Postby tnitz » Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:17 pm

I don't really have a good reason for not scraping it first and having it to do over, I would have - the primary reason being that now that it's spliced, there is actually some bark in the splice which now shows as a dark line in the splice! It may still come out, I really haven't smooth the splice area much.

My reasoning at the time was:
1) I wanted to get it onto a form as soon as possible after I got home since it had already been drying a couple days after cutting (on a trip)
2) It didn't seem like stripping the bark was any easier fresh than it would be later (this is NOT true for other species and might not even be true for juniper, I don't know)
3) I wanted to see what would happen with the bark once it dried hoping I might be able to retain some layers of it in certain spots for "texture" (this isn't going to work since the bark around the splice is now all gone)
4) It was "bleeding" pretty badly and I thought retaining the bark might help prevent excessive shrinkage and cracking (this might actually be a valid thought)

Again, just to be clear, I wouldn't do it that way again I don't think.

The bottom line for why I didn't work on it otherwise while on the form is that my lashing to the form was in the way. At one point I had the handle straightened (I removed that lashing too early and it reverted to it's natural shape). I could have refined the frame before splicing after removal from the form but was worried that it was already trying to straighten out and also wasn't sure I would get the splice right anyway so didn't want to spend alot of time on it before having the splice come out.

With all that said, there are some issues:
1) My splice is VERY long which I am proud of. However, I spliced it vertically (the glue line runs from net top to net bottom). I thought this through and while I suspected it didn't matter much, it seems that if there was any difference it would add strength to the vertical by doing it that way. Unfortunately, this created a VERY thin hoop when viewed from front or back. This splice made the hoop when viewed from top or bottom wider where the splice is. While that will get worked out in the shaping, I would have preferred to have the thickness in the vertical plane.
2) Not having worked down the twiglet stumps beforehand, I didn't notice how dramatically the individual branches that form the hoop taper from about 1/2" to just under 1/4" in dia. The result is that the front of the hoop looks quite small in comparison to the "base" of the hoop. The strength is there and adequate, but would like a smoother transition and somewhat less taper.

I'm not "dissing" this frame, it really was a perfect branch for it, just waiting to see how it comes out before passing judgement.

If I were starting again, knowing what I know now, I might have instead left the branches doubled across the front of the hoop. It would not have been a tamo as most people suspect, but I did have some ideas for lashing the two branches together in such a way that it would have made a nice looking, albeit rather rustic, tamo-like net. The two branches together, as shown in the photo off the frame, had nice proportions to the rest of the hoop, I thought.
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Re: Tamo #8: Juniper

Postby Daniel @ Tenkara USA » Wed Nov 17, 2010 6:51 pm

Hey Tnitz,

Thanks for your thoughts on the tamo. To be clear, no tamo is ever "perfect", yet they are all perfect in their own way, which is why I have really liked them. They will all be different and have their own characteristics. From the looks of it, I think you have a beautiful winner in waiting.

About the tapered hoop, and the splice direction, I have nets from Japan that are very thin where they join, and where the splice is done in different directions. While some nets will be a little stronger than others they are all good, beautiful tools.

The main reason for my question, and for why the splice is one of the last things I do, is because of the amount of stress I may put on the net when barking, scraping, carving, etc. The splice is a lot of work, and if you join them before most of the work you may end up stressing it too much. Also, if you need to do any carving, additional sanding, etc, around where the splice will happen then you won't risk damaging it.

Also, about your point of removing the bark of the tree. I did remove the bark of all my branches but one as soon as I could. For the one I didn't, however, I really regreted it! I actually did this one yesterday, and man, it was a pain to smoothly remove the bark after the wood was dry (Jeffrey Pine/Ponderosa Pine). From now on I will try to remove the bark as soon as I can. The only advantage I see to keeping it is that the bark will protect the wood from marking with ropes/zip ties, etc.

I leave the branch on the form to dry so most of the hoop becomes round. Then, I remove the branch but retie the ends only (at 3 points or throughout as in the pictures below). At this point I carefully analyze the branch to see where the best area for splicing (and best length) will be. I line these sections up and create a cast. Today I had 5 nets that were tied like that hanging on the wall, I just created a cast for them so tomorrow when the white glue is dry I can splice them. With so many to cut I may try making a simple mitter box or something to help, though I'm skeptical whether that will work well since each branch is different.
Image
Image
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